NOVEMBER 09, 2014
Somehow Christopher Nolan’s massive sci-fi blockbuster managed to fly completely under my radar until sometime last week, when suddenly praise for this movie exploded like a gigantic popped zit.
Knowing absolutely nothing about the premise before watching other than the fact that it may possibly be space related, the first question I asked was “why does Matthew McConaughey’s face look like my wallet”? Dude looks like a sultana. He plays Cooper, basically a smart guy who is forced to work a job that’s beneath him due to the shitty economy. What, do you want sympathy? Welcome to life, buddy. Initially it can be hard to decipher McConaheyhey’s southern drawl as it makes the man sound perpetually drunk and not entirely believable as an engineer, but at least he proves in the first quarter of the movie that he is Hallmark Father of the Year.
The plot is pretty standard sci-fi, set in a dystopian future with Earth running dangerously low on food and therefore forced to find a solution or bail on the planet and go ruin a perfectly fresh one (fuck yeah, humans). It’s easy to draw parallel to a whole bunch of other sci-fi movies (notably Contact, with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne contributing to both) but it’s well executed. When the film moves into space, however, it is nothing short of amazing. Zimmer’s score is expectedly brilliant and I cannot understate that the visuals and cinematography, in true Nolan style, are some of the best I have ever seen. I wonder how many new aeronautics engineering students this movie is gonna inspire. The technology, much like that in the film Her, is highly advanced yet similar enough to our own that the prospect does not seem unfathomable. Without giving too much away, one scene in particular involving a somewhat large wave left me sitting with my mouth agape like a jackass until I forcibly remembered to close it. And my God, McConogoho is the most bad ass pilot I have ever seen bar none. He makes Maverick and Hal Jordan look like TIE fighter pilots.
Acting is pretty phenomenal all around, with McConnahana’s daughter in particular a standout. Michael Caine once again plays Michael Caine. But damned if he doesn’t nail it. There are several moments of comic relief, many of which coming from a sarcastic robot in the form of a shiny block of metal who has to have his “humour levels turned down”, a struggle I face on a daily basis. The film is very Sagan inspired with quantum physics and the theory of relativity playing central themes. The warping of time due to big black holes leads to some emotional scenes that would have lesser men openly weeping but fortunately I am made of concrete (Bold-faced lie. Fucking onions, man.) It was all explained so well that even I was able to understand it, which means it was probably simplified to the point it may alienate some theoretical physics graduates but those guys are pretty fun-sucking anyway. At least there’s no sound in the space scenes.
It is a loooooong film, like, just short of three hours, but my eyes were absolutely glued the entire time. Parts were quite predictable, some of the dialogue is kinda cringey, and the ending was pretty suspect in a whole bunch of ways. But seriously, this movie is worth the cinematography and feels alone and is the best science-fiction film I’ve seen in years. Well done, Nolan, you’re on a legendary streak.
9/10 did not go gentle into that good night